They had no choice but to break in.
February 15, 2014
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
The plane carrying Angus and Skeeter to London touched down without incident at Heathrow, shortly before dusk.
“Let’s get settled, get a bite to eat or some coffee and dessert, then waste no time going on a short recon. We are lucky to be arriving now, so we can start work immediately, under the cover of darkness,” Angus advised.
“I think that dark will be the best way to go. You are right,” Skeeter agreed as they hailed a cab in front of the airport. The economy hotel that was recommended had vacancies, so they signed in. “I’m not real hungry, are you?”
“No, our airline snacks did the trick for me, until breakfast. I will be really hungry, then. Let’s just duck into the coffee shop here for some liquid caffeine,” Angus suggested.
“Phomello? What is going on? We have just arrived in London,” Angus spoke into his cell phone, while picking at a piece of apple pastry.
“The man is not going anywhere. He is in his hotel on the very far edge of Garissa, out a ways. I think he just comes here from England for a few days each month. He must have an agreement with the hotel to always stay here, keeping the same room. He parks the car directly in front of his door—the old car we have been watching. It is probably a junk car he got just for traveling around in Kenya. When he is in the room, the light is on and his car is there. Once he is there, he does not leave the room. We see room service bringing meals and other things. Dube and I have not gone to the hotel and asked any questions, so I am just guessing. We stay real far away and use binoculars to avoid suspicion. The British man is in his room now and the light is on.” Phomello explained the situation as best he could.
“Okay. Thanks. Just call me immediately if you think something is amiss at your end. Our job here is about to get very dangerous and it may take a day or two.”
Angus then turned to Skeeter. “The coast seems to be clear for tonight’s excursion. Captain Sullivan indicated this man, Reginald Glastonbury, does not have anyone living with him in his London townhouse.”
“Okay, he probably lives alone in the townhouse. How many stories tall is it?” Skeeter asked.
“It is narrow and three stories tall, in a refurbished area of Soho. If we think we are on to something, have some good evidence, Sullivan advised us to retreat and arrange a meeting with a friend of his—I have his address and number. This man has many connections with Scotland Yard. The man will arrange another meeting with someone there that can help us make the arrest.”
“That relieves a lot of tension, right off the bat,” Skeeter commented. Because we are going to be trespassing and automatically anything we find will be inadmissible in a court of law. I would just as soon someone besides us handles it. What is your thinking on this, foreign country and all, Angus?”
“Well, that is why he wants us to contact his friend. We have done this before, no problem on the actual mechanics of going in. We have that down pat, but we must leave no evidence that we have been there. We will give the proper authorities a verbal report, and they will find an alternate reason for probable cause and go in themselves for the evidence and subsequent arrest,” Angus explained.
“It is all so James Bond-y!” Skeeter quipped, then added, “And they will want to know what we have to do with it? Why have we interfered? They will be highly irritated.”
“What we have to do with it, is that we have people in Austin that have been killed by this SOB, and our own U.S. FBI man has been maimed.”
“They are gonna resent the hell out of it, but we knew that when we came over here,” Skeeter added.
“Yes we did,” Angus went on, “it actually made no sense to come. But we had to do it. We had to find out all we could ourselves and worry about the consequences later. Maybe if they get worldwide credit for arresting this madman—and they will—maybe it will soften their irritation at us, somewhat. It is not so much how he is arrested, but that he is. The main goal for everyone should be to keep the body count from going up. I am convinced we have made more progress than anyone in nabbing this son-of-a-bitch!”
“I’m hoping,” Skeeter said, as they boarded a cab.
“Stop right here,” Angus said, as they neared a neighborhood store en route to Reginald Glastonbury’s townhouse. Skeeter didn’t say anything. She was used to this routine. When doing secret investigations such as this, they always stopped a few blocks from their target area, then, walked the rest of the way. She followed Angus into the store where he made a few purchases.
They checked around them for suspicious characters, before they walked up an alleyway to the back of the townhouse. Angus opened the shopping bag, wadded up the bag and put it in his shoulder bag. He had gotten two torches—flashlights—and a box of heavy duty lawn and leaf bags. “Copy me!” Angus exclaimed to Skeeter in a loud whisper as he took one of the bags and made two leg holes in it. He stepped into the bag and tightened the drawstring around his waist. Skeeter did the same. He then took another bag and made two armholes and put it over his head. It wasn’t a good fit so he got a new bag and attempted it again. He then took it off, put on his Serengeti Sunglasses, donned the bag again and made eyeholes at the point where he felt the lenses of the glasses. Skeeter did the same. They tightened the drawstrings a bit and put their leftover bag supplies in Angus’ shoulder bag.
“This may not give full protection, but it is better than nothing,” Angus whispered. He put on latex gloves—they always had a supply of those—and gave Skeeter a pair. He then withdrew a small toolkit from his bag.
“What if there is a booby trap on the door, Angus? We must be careful.”
Angus pulled out a small gadget that detected magnetic fields. He ran it around the lock. “I can’t promise anything, but it looks good. Are you ready?”
“Yeah!” Skeeter answered.
For what seemed like only a few seconds Angus put his tools to work on the door lock. They were in.
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.